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Is your tax agent the real deal?

  • August 04 2020
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Is your tax agent the real deal?

By Grace Ormsby
August 04 2020

Australians are being warned against entrusting their tax matters to “bogus” tax agents.

Is your tax agent the real deal?

Is your tax agent the real deal?

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  • August 04 2020
  • Share

Australians are being warned against entrusting their tax matters to “bogus” tax agents.

Is your tax agent the real deal?

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) has queried: “Would you have an operation if you knew the surgeon had no medical qualifications? Would you get into a taxi if you knew the driver of the car didn’t have a driver’s licence?”

It’s flagged that every year, thousands of Australians entrust their personal tax returns to bogus individuals posing as tax practitioners, most of whom possess no qualifications or experience to do the work.

The TPB is urging taxpayers to ensure that their tax practitioner is registered.

The free and easy-to-use resource is available on the online public register at tpb.gov.au/onlineregister

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According to the board, it could potentially save taxpayers thousands of dollars in penalties and additional fees.

The reminder follows a recent Queensland case which saw that Kent Scott Hacker and his associated companies had been preparing and lodging income tax returns unlawfully for thousands of taxpayers.

An ATO raid revealed that Mr Hacker had kept records of the personal details of his “clients”, which included dates of birth, tax file numbers and bank account details.

In February 2019, the TPB brought proceedings against Mr Hacker in the Federal Court, who provided an undertaking to the court that they would cease activity.

But despite this undertaking and a later court order to display large notices at the OSGS office warning taxpayers of the risk of using Mr Hacker’s services, Mr Hacker carried on providing tax agent services.

TPB chair Ian Klug commented that “it is quite extraordinary that each time Mr Hacker admitted to being in contempt of court, he went on to unlawfully lodge additional income tax returns for clients”.

“We would urge anyone paying for tax agent services, particularly during this tax time, to be suspicious of the promise of large tax refunds and check the TPB register to ensure the legitimacy of their agent’s registration,” Mr Klug has warned.

He also advised taxpayers to “never share your myGov password with anyone as doing so puts your personal and financial information at risk”.

Is your tax agent the real deal?
Is your tax agent the real deal?
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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